MAX186, MAX188

Low-Power, 8-Channel, Serial 12-Bit ADCs

Low-Power, Single-Ended or Differential Multi-Channel, 12-Bit ADC with Bipolar Input Capabilities
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Status Explanations for product status codes

Active: In Production.


The MAX186/MAX188 are 12-bit data-acquisition systems that combine an 8-channel multiplexer, high-bandwidth track/hold, and serial interface together with high conversion speed and ultra-low power consumption. The devices operate with a single +5V supply or dual ±5V supplies. The analog inputs are software configurable for unipolar/bipolar and single-ended/differential operation.
The 4-wire serial interface directly connects to SPI, QSPI and MICROWIRE® devices without external logic. A serial strobe output allows direct connection to TMS320 family digital signal processors. The MAX186/MAX188 use either the internal clock or an external serial-interface clock to perform successive-approximation A/D conversions. The serial interface can operate beyond 4MHz when the internal clock is used.
The MAX186 has an internal 4.096V reference while the MAX188 requires an external reference. Both parts have a reference-buffer amplifier that simplifies gain trim.
The MAX186/MAX188 provide a hard-wired active-low SHDN pin and two software-selectable power-down modes. Accessing the serial interface automatically powers up the devices, and the quick turn-on time allows the MAX186/MAX188 to be shut down between every conversion. Using this technique of powering down between conversions, supply current can be cut to under 10µA at reduced sampling rates.
The MAX186/MAX188 are available in 20-pin PDIP and SO packages, and in a shrink small-outline package (SSOP), that occupies 30% less area than an 8-pin PDIP. For applications that call for a parallel interface, see the MAX180/MAX181 data sheet. For anti-aliasing filters, consult the MAX274/MAX275 data sheet.

Data Sheet

Download this datasheet in PDF formatDownload Rev 5 (PDF, 376.9kB)
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An evaluation board is available: MAX186EVKIT

Key Features

  • 8-Channel Single-Ended or 4-Channel Differential Inputs
  • Single +5V or ±5V Operation
  • Low Power:
    • 1.5mA (Operating Mode)
    • 2µA (Power-Down Mode)
  • Internal Track/Hold, 133kHz Sampling Rate
  • Internal 4.096V Reference (MAX186)
  • SPI-/QSPI-/MICROWIRE-/TMS320-Compatible 4-Wire Serial Interface
  • Software-Configurable Unipolar or Bipolar Inputs
  • 20-Pin PDIP, SO, SSOP Packages
  • Evaluation Kit Available


  • Automated Test Equipment (ATE)
  • Battery-Powered Applications
  • Data Acquisition
  • High-Accuracy Process Control
  • Medical Instruments
  • Portable Data Logging
  • Robotics

Key Specifications:

Precision ADCs (< 5Msps)
Part Number Resolution
Input Chan. Conv. Rate
ADC Architecture Data Bus Diff/S.E. Input Internal VREF
External VREF
External VREF
Unipolar VIN
Bipolar VIN
ADC max nominal min max max max See Notes
MAX186  12 8 133 SAR SPI Both 4.096 2.5 5.25 4.096 2.048 70 $11.91 @1k
MAX188  - $10.12 @1k
See All Precision ADCs (< 5Msps) (455)

Pricing Notes:

This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.


MAX186, MAX188: Typical Operating Circuit
Typical Operating Circuit

Notes and Comments

+5V data-acquisition system with serial interface

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Information Index

Document Ref.: 19-0123 Rev 5; 2013-10-30
This page last modified: 2013-10-31